Thus Chaucer gets acquainted with different representatives of middle-class social layer. All of them are on their way to Canterbury to pray at a shrine of Saint Thomas Becket (Schwartz). Step by step Chaucer depicts main characters of his Tales. We can see a merchant, a clerk, a knight, a monk, a wife of Bath and other heroes. Chaucer tells about every character in the order, which is appropriate to the social status of heroes.
I’d like to pay attention to the Wife of Bath, Alyson. She is an embodiment of an authoritative spouse. This woman has been married five times and tells pilgrims about her tumultuous marriages. She provides bright descriptions of herself comparing herself with a ‘humble loaf of bread’ (Schwartz). In order to justify her numerous marriages Alyson refers to Solomon’s and Abraham’s wives. Five husbands of Alison were different kinds of men, but the most lovable for her was her fifth husband, Jankyn. Their relationships were complicated though they lived together till Jankyn’s death. The Wife of Bath’ tale is a long part of general prologue. In such a way Chaucer makes fun of selfish and egoistical traits of human character. We can see that the author underlines this negative trait as a core of human troubles and turmoil. The authors finishes the general prologue stating that he has “tyme and space” to narrate his tales. His notes explain to us that the tales were written some time after the events happened the author is just sharing with us what he remembers about these events and at the same time he shares his personal opinion and attitude towards what he is narrating.
Canterbury Tales mean much for the reader. Unlike many other famous literary masterpieces, these Tales disclose the reality of human’s life and can be considered useful for young readers who want to know more about the world around. Canterbury Tales also give very interesting information about the epoch